I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey My rules. (Eze 36:24-27)We recognize some of that as a promise not just for Israel, but for all God's people. The question I want to ask, though, is why? Why did God promise to free Israel and give His people a new heart and His Spirit. He doesn't leave that for conjecture. "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came." (Eze 36:22)
We Christians revel in the grace of our Lord. Rightly so. His is truly amazing grace. But we often forget the purpose of His grace. We think "Jesus loves me" and "Jesus died for me", but these fall short. The purpose of His grace and His love for us and His dying on our behalf was not us. We were not the object. It is all for His glory. We are chosen in Him before the foundation of the world "to the praise of His glorious grace" (Eph 1:4-6). We have obtained an inheritance in Him "so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory." (Eph 1:11-12) In fact, the reason we heard the word of truth and believed in Him and were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit was for "the praise of His glory." (Eph 1:11-12)
We ought indeed to appreciate His love and His mercy. We certainly should celebrate His absolutely amazing grace and kindness. But we must always keep before us His intention in doing all He does for us. It is not about us; it is about Him.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness! (Psa 115:1)